We’ve already reported that five out the Seven GOP presidential hopefuls opposed marriage equality at the New Hampshire debate Monday night, yet another astonishing exercise in right-wing group think. But that was just the start of the wallowing in nostalgia for the good old days when gays could be thrown out of the military at will and otherwise have the force of the federal government used to keep them in hairdressing salons and rugby matches where they belong.
In a two-hour session that only needed Baywatch references to complete the time-warp effect, most of the would-be leaders of the free world described the various ways they would curtail freedom for gays and lesbians at home. Five of the seven would reinstate Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Former Senator Rick Santorum, whose name has lent itself to things gay that probably make him break out in a cold sweat, said that commanders should be able to rely on “discipline in place that punishes ‘bad behavior.’” (Yes, we know, you saw that movie.) Joining Santorum in supporting reinstating the vicious policy, which military commanders agree should be repealed, were Rep. Michelle Bachman, ex-Rep. Newt (I don’t need no stinkin’ staff) Gingrich, ex-Gov. Tim Pawlenty and ex-Gov Mitt Romney (aka, the Human Eggo).
As for the aforementioned gay marriage, two candidates—libertarian Ron Paul and former Godfather Pizza CEO Herman Cain—went all Cheney and said that the matter should be left to the states. Four candidates called for a federal amendment banning gay marriage altogether. Rep. Michelle Bachman, the Tea Party darling who seems to be both politically savvy and nutso all at once, took both sides. Her confusion seem to be caused by a conflict between her principles—states should be able to do whatever they want—and her gut, which is reflexively antigay. In the end her gut won out.